This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 6, 2011 5:49 PM. The previous post in this blog was New Cully food waste dump to process 100,000 tons a year. The next post in this blog is The studio version. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why government is broke

Because we waste time and money on stuff like this. What in the world does this have to do with city government? It's truly insane.

Comments (18)

Wow! Who knew that incorporating exercise into your daily routine would help you lose weight and pay "big dividends"!! It all sounds very exciting doesn't it?

In a word: they're wrong. I'm a bicyclist and frequent walker, but at best they're engaging in intellectual laziness, and at worst propaganda to support policy decisions and justify PBOT. For starters, their cherry-picked quotes left out this:

"...our study could not assess the health effects of changing rates of active travel over time. Moreover, the analysis relied on aggregated population-level data. The analysis suggested a statistically significant relationship between active travel and health at the population level, but suchecological analysis did not permit us to draw conclusions about the health effects of active travel for individuals."

Translation? "All this regression analysis doesn't tell us anything about the actual benefit of walking/biking for you, the individual".

And worst of all, they omitted this:

"Another limitation of our analysis was the inability to control for other factors affecting physical activity levels, obesity, and diabetes. In particular, no comparable city, state, and
international data on nutrition (e.g., caloric intake) or genetics (e.g., family medical history) were available for inclusion in the analysis. Finally, small sample sizes and unavailability of data for control variables restricted the statistical analysis to graphs,correlations, and bivariate regressions. In an analysis of only 47
US cities, 50 US states, and 14 countries,
incorporating many control variables would
have been difficult, even if the data were
available. Our results should therefore be
interpreted with caution."

Translation? "We have no idea if biking or walking was the actual reason for the (mostly self-reported) participants being slightly "healthier". For all we know, they happened to eat less calories, or be naturally thinner or less prone to diabetes. And, we only had a small sample size. So, be careful--all of this may be hogwash".

I'm really tired of lazy attempts like this post Jack linked to. It's not professional, and not intellectually honest.

"It's not professional, and not intellectually honest."

Did you not consider the source? Perhaps you missed that it was from the Portland Bureau (or Dept?) of Transportation?

I thought it was a rather well done piece of propaganda from the city's transportation bureaucrats, who are not known to be professional nor honest.

I'm 5'9", weigh the same as I have for the past 40 years (150). I don't ride a bicycle, nor walk much. I run, but just far enough and fast enough to get away from whatever's chasing me.

"Active transport" is just their latest buzz-term.

They don't want to go to through the effort and sacrifices that are needed to solve real problems, so they come up with stuff like that. Yikes.

"This year, I was thinking about my commute. I find myself taking transit more often in the rainy months than I used to. I was feeling guilty about not getting as much exercise but then the New York Times threw me a bone!"

Um, and who the f*** are you again?

Please stop paying this employee until he lays some asphalt on one of the 1000's of miles of city streets that so desperately needs it.

"Looking to inject a little healthy activity into your commute?" Our Mayor sure does; http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2009/05/second_mayor_sam_adams_acciden.html

Talking about stuff is cheaper than actually doing anything.

That's what Portland does best.

I can't help but visualize him as blogging for the revenue department advocating the benefit of imposing a presumed tax upon anyone who blogs, but only so long as they blog on their own and not as an employee for wages.

"What in the world does this have to do with city government?"

All part of the propaganda machine. It distracts the average weak-minded Portland taxpayer from what CoP is NOT doing - Like fixing potholes or bridges, keeping reasonably priced utilities, stopping police from shooting the mentally ill or having schools ask for $550M to repair.

It's always easier to fix intangible problems or things 50 years from now than fix real stuff today.

Besides this stuff'll be the cornerstone of Sam's re-election campaign.

I'll bet few residents even know that blog is there, much less ever read it, because only a few Portlanders even care. It's just more self back-patting on the part of certain 'appointees' in the city gov't. It's the sound of the choir singing to itself.

Adams got elected because no one ran against him (no offense to Mr Shozono's gallant last-minute effort). Why? Because most Portlanders don't care. He will probably get re-elected and will still keep doing whatever the f**k he feels like. Why? Because most Portlanders don't care. The few who do care got him elected. They will re-elect him and fight for him. They got what they wanted. The rest got what they deserved.

I meant, Mr. Dozono. (I think that's called a spoonerism)

jc: "I'll bet few residents even know that blog is there, much less ever read it"

Exactly. Who goes to the city government website to read blogs? Bizarre.

No, government is broke because it has lost its ability to grow revenue at a pace equal to growing financial obligations. But surely you know that.

Crap like this city blog, while surely a waste, is but a blip in the city budget. It's red meat for the anti-gubmint/anti-tax crowd at any rate.

As with the Republican House ceremonially cutting $35 million from their own budget while proposing health care repeal that would cost hundreds of billions and doggedly pursuing trillion dollar wars and occupations, orders of magnitude seem to be lost on the masses.

Steve R.
I believe you are absolutely correct on all points. I'm sure the city blog does cost very little, but still aggravates like inexpensive salt in an already gaping wound.

"health care repeal that would cost hundreds of billions"

Yeah sure, you betcha.

Really now, is that believable?

Steve says government "has lost its ability to grow revenue[]"

If I can get a court order that strikes the phrase "does not include wages earned as an employee[]" from PCC 7.02.100(C), as void, then we can "grow revenue" from city workers themselves.

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